Welcome to CBE’s Library

Fair lady with the alabaster flask,
How I wish I were there
To smell that fragrance in the air
All through the house.
And what a cost! A year’s wages!
I would not forget that wonderful smell.
And who could forget what you did?
Many saw you.
Many knew you.
Many smelled your precious perfume.
Fair lady, I wish I had been there.

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The tears of those who love us

gently water the cheeks of the earth.

Another beautiful bloom

turns into a wrinkled seed,

they lament.

Ah, a premature death,

A premature life,

Why must it be so?

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There seems to be a game – that you must play, if you would rise.

There seems to be a game – and with it lots of compromise

You live to impress others, and you're as slick as you can be.

But, where – oh, where – are perfect hearts, and deep sincerity? 

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Many know the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. However, often our own culture and struggles can lead us to “discover” lessons that are not part of the text, or miss important details that are. Often in churches, Esther becomes obscured to the point where this brave woman who was mightily used by God becomes passively subject to the decisions of men. For example, a marriage book released recently by a popular pastor and his wife used the story of Esther to promote obedience to one’s husband, contrasting disobedient Queen Vashti with a “submissive” Esther. Is submission to one’s husband truly the lesson of this narrative?

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they have come
like warriors
an army
blackening the land

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Fall fountains of sun brimming
Bronze leaves burning
In summer’s dying light
 

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Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, I came to the tomb. I came alone in that time before dawn, when fear and doubt get the best of us, and when God seems farthest away. 

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You look my way, but don’t see me.
Looking through me, past me,
I am not present in your eyes.
I am not seen, I am not heard.
Yet God says to me, “I love you, my child.
You are my daughter, lovingly created in my image.”

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Of all the literature produced by the early Syrian church, the most prized was composed by Ephrem the Syrian, often called “The Harp of the Holy Spirit.” One of his hymns memorializes the faith of the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well and sent forth as a missionary (see John 4).

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Amnesia regarding social, cultural and political movements is fashionable, in part, because patriarchs would

rather not acknowledge how the shape of the world changed.

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